Wet Weather? No Problem! 5 Essentials for Riding in the Rain

March 30, 2017

Waterproof Jackets for Spring Cycling @ BikeParts.com

There is no such thing as “bad biking weather”, just ask those happy folks cycling around the Front Range every day of the year. Most cyclist have experienced a sprinkle, shower, or torrential downpour at some point during their cycling career—but with the right gear and attitude, riding in wet weather can be acceptable, and maybe even fun. Here’s what you need.

Rain jacket – Cycling rain jackets are optimized to be fully waterproof and breathable while allowing for a range of movement, and they often have subtle (or unsubtle) reflective accents. The thing to be mindful of when choosing one is the hood. If you ride in a helmet, is the hood big enough to fit over it? If not, opt for a head cap. A cycling cap, worn underneath your helmet, will help keep the rain from running into your eyes while you ride, and help shield your face from the rain.

Shoe covers or waterproof shoes – Shoe covers, also known as booties, cover the exterior of your shoes and protect from wet, cold, and wind. There are several options: some that cover just the toes and others that encompass the entire foot. Sometimes, even shoe covers aren’t enough protection. Waterproof cycling shoes and boots can be a very smart investment, especially if you’re determined to ride in the rain frequently.

Gloves – Perched out on your handlebars your hands face the brunt of the weather. As your hands become numb from the constant rain, their temperature quickly cools, and before too long you can have some very frozen fingers to deal with. Frozen fingers aren’t much good at changing gear, braking or clinging to the handlebars, and they’re extremely uncomfortable. Opt for full finger / windproof gloves and waterproof gloves.

Lights – Even if it’s daylight out, you should ride with lights—for the same reason cars turn their lights on in the rain.  The sky is darker, rain can obscure your outline, and drivers are already distracted. Using lights will make you more visible, and help you stay safe.

Maintenance – Experiencing mechanical difficulties in wet conditions is not fun!  A well maintained bike is a fun bike to ride – even in the rain. While bike maintenance can be a chore, having the right set of bike components and bicycle tools can make all the difference.  Good reminders for riding in wet conditions is to wipe down and inspect the frame.  Then, follow that up by applying lube your chain and pivot points.  

Finally, adjust your attitude!  Learn to love riding in the rain.  Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop or visit us at BikeParts.com to select the cycling apparel that matches your riding style and wet riding needs. 


Daylight Savings Ending – Fear Not! Cycling Training Strategies for Daylight and Night Hours  

November 3, 2016
Training Tips at BikeParts.com

Training Tips at BikeParts.com

With the time change this upcoming weekend, darkness will fall earlier each day making it more challenging to fit training rides in the schedule. But fear not, at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we have training strategies that can help you make the best of the daylight and night hours!

Given that the days with long sunshine hours are ending, there are ways to make the most of the daytime hours.  It requires a little planning and creativity.  Also, time management plays an important role here. Scheduling your workouts in your calendar; shifting meetings and family obligations to early morning, late afternoon and early evening; and optimizing your lunch hour as ride time,  are three areas that can assist in getting your scheduled training in during the daylight hours.  Again, the idea here is to create a plan and stick to it.  If you plan a ride during the daylight hours and miss it, then it creates stress on how to make that ride up.  However, as other bike enthusiasts know, riding at night can be fun, relaxing, and a delightful end to the day.  If you are up for a little adventure, here’s how to make night time riding work for you! 

Be a well lit cyclist. Purchase cycling apparel that is visible.  There are options to choose from including vests and ankle bands.  Also, reflective tape is a good idea. 3M makes black reflective tape that is great to put on black wheels. You do not notice it during the day and it shows up white at night.  And, as the temperature drops, it’s hard to know what to wear when it’s 50 degrees and sunny outside versus 30 – 35 degrees and cloudy.  Riding in transitional weather can be a challenge!  But, with clothing that is versatile, lightweight, and easy to pack down, you can find a cycling wardrobe that works for you. Watch our video, How to Dress for Winter Cycling to get ideas. 

Explore your ride options. Riding in the dark makes the riding of any technical section immediately harder than in the day.  It takes a good while to overcome this, so don’t set yourself a task to ride the most demanding trails or bike paths you have.  Ease yourself in as the nights start earlier and downgrade your expectations.   Remember, you will inevitably ride and travel more slowly than in daylight.  A way to overcome this is to invest in a good set of lights. With that being said, be mindful that your route doesn’t exceed your lights battery capacities.

Become a fan of bike maintenance: Experiencing mechanical difficulties in the cold and at night is not fun!  A well maintained bike is a fun bike to ride.  Yet, for some, bike maintenance can be a chore.  Having the right set of bike components and bicycle tools can make all the difference.  When prepping your bike for for the colder temps and night riding, there are several things you want to do to keep your bike in good working order.  A good thing to always do is to wipe down and inspect the frame.  As the weather changes, rain, snow, ice, and road elements pose different cleaning challenges to your frame and bicycle parts.  Consider using a stiff, soft-bristled brush to knock off any chunks of dried-on mud that may be on your frame or wheels. Then, follow that up by taking a rag to your bike, wiping it down generally all over to get off any remaining dust or dirt.

Also, remember to lube your chain and cables.  As unglamorous as chain lube is, it is a necessity for winter riding.  It will keep your bike parts in working order and squeak free! There are many lubes to choose – wet vs dry lube.  As conditions vary, you may want to have a couple of different choices on hand.  Finally, since you can’t see what you are rolling over in the dark, it’s a good idea to frequently inspect tires, wheels, and brake pads.  Check that there is adequate air pressure in the tires. Check that there aren’t any cuts or nicks in the sidewall or tread of the tires. You’ll want to make sure the brake pads are not worn. And, remember to inspect where the brake pads hit the rim; they should contact the rim evenly on both sides and not rub the tire in any way that may cause a flat. 

Daylight riding or riding at night – it’s all good!  As you can see, there’s no need to fear the time change.  The time change can mark the end of the season and bring on a new adventure.  Embrace creativity and plan your rides during daytime hours.  Or, seek adventure and embrace the challenge and make night riding work for you! 


10 Things You Need for Fall Biking 

October 20, 2016
Fall Colors along the Front Range

Fall Colors along the Front Range

Have you noticed the leaves changing on the trees lately?

The Front Range tree leaves are exploding with a vibrant mix of autumn hues.  What better way to enjoy the brisk temperatures and vibrant colors of the leaves turning than from the view of mountain bike or road bike? The added bonus is maintaining fitness through the fall and even building it well into the winter months.  

True, we love fall rides, but it does take a little extra planning.  The days are shorter and the weather is becoming more unpredictable.  That’s why it’s more important during the fall season to have the right cycling apparel for the type of riding you are doing.

Ask yourself, what clothing do you need to wear in different weather conditions?  Do you have waterproof and wind resistant clothing? Do you have enough of the basic cycling necessities, as in leggings? Arm warmers? Knee warmers? Scull cap? What about your base layers?  Do you have enough of them or do you need to add in some fleece lined clothing?  

Staying warm, dry, and comfortable is key to riding during the fall season.  Lucky for you, at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we can help you with all of your cycling apparel needs.  In fact, we’ve got a great end of the year sale on 2016 bikes and cycling apparel in store right now!  At a minimum, these are the essential fall riding clothes you need to have on hand.

1. Wind Vest – The wind vest is one of the most used pieces of cool weather gear. It keeps your core body protected from frontal winds, but vents in the rear to keep you from overheating. The wind vest is also very versatile and can be added to different clothing combinations, using it with regular jerseys, winter jerseys, and arm warmers. It’s also easily stowed in a pack or shirt pocket.

2. Wind / Rain Jacket – It’s always a good idea to keep a water resistant jacket handy when rain is in the forecast.

3. Arm Warmers – Arm warmers are a must during the Fall season.  While they don’t take up much room, they are great for temperature control.

4. Full Finger / Windproof Gloves – When riding in cooler temps, one of the first things to get cold are the fingers. Protect your hands with full fingerers and / or windproof gloves. A popular item to consider are the Endure gloves. 

5. Knickers, Knee Warmers, and Pants – As the temperatures drop, it’s a good idea to cover your knees. Many cyclist prefer tights whereas others prefer leg warmers.  There are also knickers which allow more airflow over the legs, and they are good for those in-between days. Consider trying out each option and experiment to dial in your preference.

6. Head Band or Skull Cap – The vents in your helmet that are such an asset during the summer months become a major liability when the temperatures begin to drop. To prevent from losing heat from your scalp, be sure to wear a thin skullcap or headband under the helmet

7. Wool Socks – Keeping your feet dry and warm can be a challenge in the cold weather, but nice wool socks are your best bet.

8. Shoe Covers – Shoe covers, also known as booties, cover the exterior of your shoes and protect from cold and wind.  There are several options: some that cover just the toes and others that encompass the entire foot. Toe covers are great for Fall but as you transition to Winter riding, you may wish for a pair that covers your entire foot.  If you’re not a fan of shoe covers, opt for a warmer shoe all together! We have two favorite options.  The Giant Sojourn cycling shoes have a stiff and grippy bottom which are good for walking.  A great option for bike commuters.  The other favorite is the Defroster cycling shoe.  It’s a great option for fall and winter riding and especially on the cold days because these shoes doesn’t require shoe covers.  

9. Lights – At the end of this month, the days will be much shorter! Plan ahead and get your lights ready. Get a red blinker for the rear that mounts to the bike or your pack, and a decent headlight for the front.

10. Tool kit – The bicycle tools needed to have on hand in inclement weather matter.  Discover what the best bike parts for fall commuting and build a tool kit that meets your needs.

Which essential items are missing from the list?  Make note of it and stop by the shop to check out all of the cycling apparel we have in stock and on sale. Whether you are enjoying the vibrant mix of autumn hues from a scenic country road, a bike path, or a cyclocross race course, fall bike rides in Colorado are the best way to get up close and personal with the season’s colors – enjoy! 


5 Things You Should Know To Winter Proof Your Bike

October 22, 2015

Winter Proof Your Bike @ BikeParts.com

Winter is coming in most parts of the country. But even though it is winter does not mean that you have to give up riding your bike. While the off season may be underway, this is the perfect time of year for commuters and athletes to start bike maintenance preparation for the winter months.  

Winter riding poses many threats so having a bike in good working order keeps you safe, warmer, and provides the opportunity for a more enjoyable ride. Besides, a good ride always does the body and mind good!  The trick to making winter riding work for you is to winterize your bike. When prepping your bike for for the winter, there are several things you want to do to keep it in good working order for the winter months.

  1.  Invest in fenders!  You’ll love them because the fight off salt, sand, and ­oil-laden road spray.  By installing full fenders, you will keep crud off clothing and grit from getting into—and wearing out—most components.  And you! 
  2.  Keep the rubber side down!  Slick surfaces and crashes are fun – said no one- ever!  Do yourself a favor and invest in new tires. New tires will be easier to control on icy roads and slushy trails. We have a huge selection of mountain bike and road bike tires online at BikeParts.com and also in our Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop. Stop by to hand select the best tires for you. 
  3. Wipe your bike down.   Combat corrosion and griminess due to salt and dirt by wiping down your frame after each ride.  This is especially important for wet bikes.  Rain, snow, ice, and road elements pose different cleaning challenges to your frame and bicycle parts.  Consider using a stiff, soft-bristled brush to knock off any chunks of dried-on mud that may be on your frame or wheels. Then, follow that up by taking a rag to your bike, wiping it down generally all over to get off any remaining dust or dirt. You’ll want to make a point to clean your bike chain weekly. 
  4. Safety First!  Be seen and be safe. Winter riding involves riding in grey days!  Of course, visibility is critical.  Outfit your bike with a good light system.  You will want lights for the front of your bike.  Consider having multiple lights for the front of your bike.  One on your helmet so you can shine side roads and traffic and have a second light on your handlebars so you can see at least 10 ft. or more in front of you.  For the rear of your bike, opt for a rear red light- particularly one that blinks. A blinking red light is much more likely to get the attention of a passing motorist who might otherwise not notice you. You may also consider purchasing cycling apparel that is visible.  There are options to choose from including vests and ankle bands.  Also, reflective tape is a good idea. 3M makes black reflective tape that is great to put on black wheels. You do not notice it during the day and it shows up white at night. 
  5. Avoid a wardrobe malfunction!  As the temperature drops, it’s hard to know what to wear when it’s 50 degrees and sunny outside versus 30 – 35 degrees and cloudy.  Riding in transitional weather can be a challenge!  But, with clothing that is versatile, lightweight, and easy to pack down, you can find a cycling wardrobe that works for you.  Check out our post, Avoid a Clothing Crisis! New Threads to Keep you Warm for Fall and Winter Cycling for great winter riding clothing options.

Have no fear of losing cycling motivation in the winter months!  The first step towards successfully riding through the winter months is winter proofing your bike.  When you are confident in your bike and clothing options, there are less excuses to tell yourself for not riding and more reasons to get on the bike and enjoy the ride.


Boost Your Cycling Performance with Fall Riding – And Why it Matters!

September 24, 2015

Fall Cycling at BikeParts.com

While we welcome cooler temps and colorful foliage that fall cycling offers, the shorter days and fatigue of the cycling season can beckon cyclist to cut their rides short – or skip them all together.  Perhaps missing a day or two of riding doesn’t seem like much but it does.  According to the post, What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Riding, within a relatively short period of time, undesirable consequences result.  As in, your metabolism stagnates. Your blood pressure rises. Your blood sugar surges. Fitness declines.  And, inevitable wait gain surfaces.  Not fun!

Fall is actually the best time to transition from peak cycling form to a relaxed one.  Doing so doesn’t include missing rides.  It means shifting your mindset to embrace fall cycling while actually boosting your cycling performance for next year.  

The article, Fix Your Flaws in Fall, suggests “if you’re looking to take a big step forward in your racing performance for next season, you can’t wait until next season to start the process.”  With that being said, what are the best ways to boost your fall training regimen?  

As we’ve share in recent post,  Cyclocross is a wonderful way for road cyclists and mountain bikers to extend their competitive seasons and get a head-start on training for next season. The intensity of cyclocross racing provides a training stimulus that’s very difficult to replicate with standard interval training during the fall and winter, especially as the temperatures fall and athletes turn primarily to indoor cycling.  The post,  The Top 5 Fitness Benefits of Racing Cyclocross, reinforces this stating, cyclocross racing increases power at V02 Max, reduces off season weight gain, and toughens you up!  

If you don’t want to toughen up, then opt for an easier approach.  Add bike commuting to your fall regimen.   While it is not as strenuous as cyclocross racing, it is a chance to enjoy cooler temperatures, view the changing colors of the leaves, and reinvigorate your spirits with the freedom riding a bike inspires.  This is most helpful if you are mentally burned out from the season and need to rejuvenate your cycling spirit for the next season.  To truly enjoy fall bike commuting, at Peak Cycles Bicycle shop, we recommend getting a tune-up.  Who knows what your bike has experienced during the season and to make bike commuting truly enjoyable – your bike needs to be reliable.  We recommend having a set of reliable lights and wearing the right bike clothing. Frequently we’re asked what are the essential cycling apparel to have on hand for fall bike commuting.  Here’s a great list of bike parts and cycling apparel to have on available.   Remember, bike commuting is different than training; as such, your needs may vary regarding nutritional requirements, bike parts that are needed, as well as, clothing options.  

The Fall season is a great time for experimentation.  Ride new routes! Explore different trials before Winter weather arrives!  The Fall season can be a great opportunity to get test out new bike parts.  During the racing and cycling season, the focus is on riding; whereas during the Fall, there’s more time for mental wanderings and fun! Check out our daily closeouts and overstock items to spark renewed interest in your cycling program.  


The 10 Essentials for Fall Cycling

September 4, 2014

fall leavesAs we transition from Summer to Fall, the Colorado mountain colors explode into a vibrant mix of autumn hues. What better way to enjoy the brisk temperatures and vibrant colors of the leaves turning than from the view of mountain bike or road bike? The added bonus is maintaining fitness through the fall and even building it well into the winter months.  Yet to make the transition from Summer to Fall to Winter riding safely, it’s wise to make sure that your bike is working and that you have the proper cycling apparel to keep you warm and also motivated to ride in the cooler temps.

At Peak Cycles Bicycle shop, we recommend getting a tune-up, having a set of reliable lights and wearing the right bike clothing. Frequently we’re asked what are the essential cycling apparel to have on hand. Here’s our list:

1. Wind Vest – The wind vest is one of the most used pieces of cool weather gear. It keeps your core body protected from frontal winds, but vents in the rear to keep you from overheating. The wind vest is also very versatile and can be added to different clothing combinations, using it with regular jerseys, winter jerseys, and arm warmers. It’s also easily stowed in a pack or shirt pocket.
2. Wind / Rain Jacket – It’s always a good idea to keep a water resistant jacket handy when rain is in the forecast.
3. Arm Warmers – Arm warmers are a must during the Fall season.  While they don’t take up much room, they are great for temperature control.
4. Full Finger / Windproof Gloves – When riding in cooler temps, one of the first things to freeze is the fingers. Protect your hands with full fingerers and / or windproof gloves.
5. Knickers, Knee Warmers, and Pants – As the temperatures drop, it’s a good idea to cover your knees. Many cyclist prefer tights whereas others prefer leg warmers.  There are also knickers which allow more airflow over the legs, and they are good for those in-between days. Consider trying out each option and experiment to dial in your preference.
6. Head Band or Skull Cap – The vents in your helmet that are such an asset during the summer months become a major liability when the temperatures begin to drop. To prevent from losing heat from your scalp, be sure to wear a thin skullcap or headband under the helmet
7. Wool Socks – Keeping your feet dry and warm can be a challenge in the cold weather, but nice wool socks are your best bet.
8. Shoe Covers – Shoe covers, also known as booties, cover the exterior of your shoes and protect from cold and wind.  There are several options: some that cover just the toes and others that encompass the entire foot. Toe covers are great for Fall but as you transition to Winter riding, you may wish for a pair that covers your entire foot.
9. Lights – Within a month, the days will be much shorter! Plan ahead and get your lights ready. Get a red blinker for the rear that mounts to the bike or your pack, and a decent headlight for the front.
10. Tool kit – The bicycle tools needed to have on hand in inclement weather matter.  Discover what the best bike parts for fall commuting  and build a tool kit that meets your needs.

Why is all this important?  Because having access to resources, tips, and a supportive environment makes it easier to enjoy all the benefits cycling has to offer.  It gets you outside – on the bike and riding!  Whether you are enjoying the vibrant mix of autumn hues from a scenic country road, a bike path, or a cyclocross race course, fall bike rides in Colorado are the best way to get up close and personal with the season’s colors  while filling up their lungs with crisp Colorado air.


Cash In on the 2013 Bike Sale Season

October 3, 2013
Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.11.52 AM

Specialized Epic Expert- Carbon, 2013 Size Medium. Sale price $4,500!

When does bike sale season start?

NOW!

It’s that time of the year when bikes, cycling apparel, bike parts, cycling gear all go on sale across the country.  If you think redlining off the line at a race gets your heart rate going, you better think again.  We’ve got some crazy, hot mountain bike sales going on at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop – a surefire way to get your adrenaline pumping.

Deal #1 – We are selling our demo bikes!  There are some great deals to be had on Stumpjumpers, Cambers, Epics, and so many more. Stop by to take one out for a test ride now while the weather is still good and the trails are snow free!

Deal #2 – The HOT deal
This could be your new racing machine. Specialized Epic Expert- Carbon, 2013 Size Medium.  It is priced at $4,500 a whopping discount off the regular price of $6000!  We also have the exact same bike as a demo for $4200.  Stop by and test it before it’s gone!

What if you aren’t in the market for a new bike?  Guess what?  Our daily deals offer ongoing specials for your to cash in on.  Specials range from deals on bike parts, tires, shoes, pedals, lights, and all kinds of cycling accessories.  To cash in on these deals, follow us on Twitter  or like us on Facebook.

Bonus deal – On sale now! While supplies last!! Garmin Forerunner 910XT  Get ’em while they’re hot!

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Demo Bikes On Sale Now! Ride One Today!